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Reed bed for irrigation ditch water

 
pollinator
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Location: Missoula, MT
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I have silty irrigation ditch water. I would like to filter out the silt so that I can pump the water through drip tape without clogging up the drip tape. My neighbor is able to use ditch water through drip tape using a fine mesh inline filter from Dripworks, however they say they have to clean the filter every hour (!) while their irrigation pump is running.

I am interested in building a reed bed system that can supply 50 gallons per minute of drip tape worthy water, and I am curious about how big such a system might need to be.

If you have a reed bed system, how big is the system and what volume of water per minute or hour can you filter?

Thanks,
ABE
 
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Location: Richwood, West Virginia
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Why doesn't a 2800 GPH sand filter fit the bill?



 
Abe Coley
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It does not fit the bill because I can't grow cattails in the muck.

For the drip tape that sand filter might be fine but I'm having trouble finding any rating for the sediment load it can handle.
 
Burl Smith
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Reference to a Sand Hardy pump

Ooops! It's not 50 Gal per minute
 
Burl Smith
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Abe Coley wrote:I have silty irrigation ditch water.



Hypothetically the precipitation of the silt in a reed bed will back up the drainage and force the authority to re-excavate the ditch. I say this with a minor trepidation.... [Permaculture advice from Eeyore: "Don't bother. It won't work. You're wasting your effort..."]




 
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I might be wrong, but I think you need a sediment basin to remove solids from water. Design of sediment basins are quite straight forward. Water enters a pool, sits there for over some time and solids settle. Then you remove two thirds of the total volume and repeat the process. Bigger the pool easier to operate. The rule of thump is to have a pool that can compensate min 2 days requirement. Say you need 10 cubic meters. 2*10=20. That is two thirds of the size of the pool, which gives you a capacity of 30 cubic meters. You can make it smaller and it will also work, though it will require more maintenance. Or you might want to oxygenate while you are dealing with it. You can have two ponds (upper one a bit smaller) and have a pump circulating water. As a rule of thump 4 hour is the minimum circulation time. It means total volume of the system should not be circulated in less than 4 hours. Say you have a total of 20 cubic meter pond (12 lower, 8 upper). Take half of the total volume (just to be sure). Pump needs to circulate 10 cubic meters in four hours. So you select a pump that has a capacity of 2-2.5 cubic meters per hour. All sediment settles in the upper pond. You can remove up to 10 cubic meters of clear water from the lower pond. You can add mosquito eating fish, frogs and etc to the system. A basic filter will do the final trick to keep drip lines happy.
Hope it helps.
 
So I left, I came home, and I ate some pie. And then I read this tiny ad:
3 Plant Types You Need to Know: Perennial, Biennial, and Annual
https://permies.com/t/96847/Pros-cons-perennial-biennial-annual
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